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Top Tips for Renting a Car on Holiday

Posted by Hayley Reynolds on 17/01/2017
Top tips for renting a car on holiday

If you want to get off the beaten track and really explore your destination, then hiring a car is a necessity. This will offer you the kind of freedom it’s impossible to come by on public transport, as well as allowing you to enjoy your trip on your own timetable rather than the local bus company’s.

If you’re thinking about renting a car on your next holiday, then read on for our top tips for finding the best deal and staying safe on the ‘wrong’ side of the road.

Book in advance (and then look for a cheaper deal)

Leasing a car at the destination airport is not only expensive, but also takes up time that you should be spending soaking up the sun or seeing the sites. Furthermore, after a long flight, you’re unlikely to be in the right mindset to carefully check the terms and conditions of the contract. This makes it more likely that you’ll be stung with hidden charges that you didn’t notice.

Save yourself this hassle and cut down the cost of renting a car abroad by browsing price comparison websites like Kayak and Travel Supermarket a few months in advance of your trip to find the best deals. You can also use the compare rates tool on Simply Holiday Deals powered by Skyscanner. 

You can save even more money by finding a deal that allows you to cancel without any charge up to 48-hours before you’re set to pick up the car. You can then keep your eye out for an even better last-minute deal in the week leading up to the trip and switch if you find a cheaper one.

Consider the cost of ‘free’ upgrades

When you pick up your car from the rental company, you may be offered a free upgrade to a flashier model. However, in most cases, you foot the fuel bills while the vehicle is in your hands. It’s therefore important to keep in mind that a faster a car is likely to consume more fuel, and this will eat into your overall holiday budget. Carefully consider the cost of any ‘free’ upgrades, and if they don’t fit in your budget, politely decline them.   

Choose a designated driver

Car rental companies usually include an additional charge for every extra driver you add to your plan. You can therefore save quite a bit of money by choosing a designated driver in advance for the duration of the entire trip.

This will have the added benefit of giving the driver the chance to become familiar with the country’s driving laws and customs. This is especially important if they’re going to have to drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, as the more practice one person has on foreign roads, the safer you’ll all be.

As Lookers’ guide to driving on the right-hand side of the road recommends, the designated driver should pay close attention to their position relative to road markings and other traffic in order to navigate the roads as safely as possible, especially during difficult left turns and roundabouts. If they stick to this advice, they’ll soon become used to the unfamiliar side of the road.

Keep these tips in mind during your next trip and the process of renting a car is sure to be as cheap and hassle-free as possible. This will free up your time and energy to explore the sites of your destination at your leisure.